We had a good mixed bag of vehicles on the trip which represents a good cross section of member vehicles just now including two visitor vehicles, welcome guys. It’s nice to have everything from Patrols and Cruisers, through BT50’s and Disco’s. Hilux alternators are particularly useful to crank the Patrol after I used the oven a bit much at idle. Well the dim sims where good for smoko, but there will no doubt continued ribbing of being saved by a Toyota (again, thanks Russel). Bellthorpe has a few steepish sections but on generally very well formed tracks with no major concerns of off cambers or big holes. Marcel did lead us to a particularly interesting step section of track undertaken by some of the drivers keen on some Black driving. A few of the vehicles undertook this one in either a climbing or descending manner. Michael Buckley took an interesting descending line in the Jackaroo which he quotes as resulting in a “pucker moment”. It’s great to get out and see a cross section of driving skill and capabilities of equipment whilst still wrapped up in a Blue Rated trip. This is the way we share and learn and I acknowledge all drivers invited anyone into their vehicle to experience this section.
A couple of large loops in the morning (with my dim sim morning tea included) culminated with a stop at an old saw mill for lunch. I’ve concluded that Eddie’s lift on the BT50 is actually about the working height of the BBQ on the tailgate, not anything to do with ground clearance. Perhaps the load carrying capacity is an issue for the burger fillings.
The afternoon loop was quite a contrast moving from the dry open wooded areas we had been in through he morning into rainforest in the afternoon. The morning had seen us traverse locations where the Rangers had been doing recent controlled burns, not so in the lush areas in the afternoon. It was even a bit damp in a few sections.
Bellthorpe has a real diverse cross section of terrain and driving. The trip was expertly lead by Marcel, whose knowledge of the area is outstanding. I both congratulate and thank Marcel for an excellent trip very well managed, even with a few hiccup’s on the way. I think Bellthorpe deserves some more attention with perhaps a Black leaning trip to be considered.